“Then I reflected that all things happen to oneself, and happen precisely, precisely now. Century follows century, yet events occur only in the present; countless men in the air, on the land, and sea, yet everything that truly happens, happens to me. Después reflexioné que todas las cosas le suceden a uno precisamente, precisamente ahora. Siglos de siglos y sólo en el presente ocurren los hechos; innumerables hombres en el aires, en la tierra y el mar, y todo lo que realmente pasa me pasa a mí.”
“The Garden of Forking Paths”, El jardín de senderos que se bifurcan, is the best story by Borges. It’s certainly the story with the most interesting plot and it’s very readable, even to the person who finds Borges a little dull and challenging.
“The Garden of Forking Paths” is a mystery story on the surface but it is also a story that contains many famous Borgesian elements such as an infinite book, labyrinths, and multiple dimensions. If you’ve been following this blog series, then you have noticed that a lot of Borges stories deal with the aspect of time.
Because of the nature of the plot, I’m not going into much detail about this story. Like a lot of stories by Borges you will want to read the story at least twice since the ending changes your perspective and understanding of the story. Also, there are some paragraphs that you may have to read very closely in order to really understand what is the garden of forking paths.
“The Garden of Forking Paths” has obtained cult status among those interested in interactive fiction. The story explains, better than just about anything, the possibilities inherent in interactive fiction. Indeed, in my readings on digital media and computer gaming, Borges is cited quite often for his groundbreaking perspective.